The more things change…

[ image courtesy of karindalziel / Flickr ]

…the more they stay the same.

Symantec, the company that provides millions of folks with their Norton anti-virus software, has put some resources into a project that will give a better understanding of online behaviors. This survey is interesting because of its multi-national [eight countries, in total] perspective. From the site:

The Norton Online Living Report gives a snapshot of how different cultures and different countries approach the Internet and provides insight into how their daily lives are affected by the online world. All the data is constantly changing and will be updated in further iterations of this first bi-annual report.

The report focuses primarily upon the things you might think a company involved in provided security software might zero in on: the confidence index of web users, types of activities those users engage in, and overall tech literacy. There are many other gems to be found in there. It is worth examining, but laid out in a funny way on the site–there is no single report to download that covers all things. Visit this page and hit the links.

So why the tired platitude of a title to this post? I point you to this tidbit, from page 6 of the UK report:

Nineteen per cent of UK children say they do things online that they know their parents would disapprove of. That figure is even higher in China with 55 per cent responding in the positive.

Yup. Kids are doing things their parents wouldn’t approve of. Still. Now online, in sizable percentages. We can end with yet another tired platitude: There is nothing new under the sun.

Something we have touched on a number of times on this blog is how technology often amplifies existing activities / impulses / social constructs. Rather than creating a new phenomenon, we see the new thing [be it gaming or social networking sites or IM] giving kids a new chance to sneak a cigarette behind the bleachers.

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